Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Since Africa is developing fast someone, somewhere, must be doing something right.

7 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Oh no, that’s very bad Tim. Very bad indeed. Awful, in fact.

    The Africans are being sucked into capitalism. As numerous wise owls have warned, this is very bad for people. They will start desiring luxuries, and become corrupted and fat and decadent. They will become as corrupted as we are, with our flat screen televisions and central heating. They will become disconnected from nature in all its glory, losing their one-nessness with malaria, starvation and nature’s many other gifts. How can a people survive when their blood and soil are no longer mingled?

    So Tim, this is really ghastly news. The darkies will be like us. Intolerable.

  2. Pingback: Africa experiencing economic growth and improvement in child mortality rates | motorcitytimes.com

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Well economic growth is a good thing. Much better than no economic growth. But I wonder about this present bout of economic growth.

    Suppose that it was the product of corrupt miners riding a Chinese resource boom that only enriched and entrenched a small corrupt kleptocratic elite? That there was no deeper or broader enrichment going on? That the profits were being moved to Swiss banks as fast as they could be?

    It is possible to imagine a situation where Africans were no better off as a result.

    I don’t say that is happening, but then I don’t say it isn’t either. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. How better off Africans are remains to be seen. But it may not be a result of anyone doing anything right, but a lot of people doing the wrong thing, just with some positive side effects.

    Tim adds: True, but what we’re looking at here is the evidence that things are actually getting better for Africans. It’s not just growth, we’re seeing falls in child mortality for example.

  4. I don’t say that is happening…

    If you’re talking about Nigeria and its oil wealth, then come right out and say it: that is exactly what is happening. Not sure how representative Nigeria is of Africa though. When we’ve met other Africans – even ones from DRC – they give us a look of pity when we tell them we live in Nigeria. It seems to be universally regarded as the worst place in Africa.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim adds: True, but what we’re looking at here is the evidence that things are actually getting better for Africans. It’s not just growth, we’re seeing falls in child mortality for example.

    That is certainly true. Although I am dubious about any African government statistic. It may (like some percentage of the AIDS epidemic) be a product of poor government figures. But let’s hope it is real. Good thing all around.

    But we have precedent for this. Spain literally discovered a mountain of silver in Latin America and it underwrote their attempt at world domination. But it did nothing for the Spanish economy in the long run. A resource based boom is better than nothing, but probably not what Africa really needs.

    5Tim Newman

    If you’re talking about Nigeria and its oil wealth, then come right out and say it: that is exactly what is happening. Not sure how representative Nigeria is of Africa though.

    I can honestly say Nigeria did not cross my mind. Angola now exports more oil to the US than Kuwait and has done so for some time. I have not seen any evidence of it in Angola though. So I doubt Nigeria is alone in this.

    When we’ve met other Africans – even ones from DRC – they give us a look of pity when we tell them we live in Nigeria. It seems to be universally regarded as the worst place in Africa.

    When people in the DRC looks down on you ….. I bet Thailand is looking better and better all the time?

  6. I can honestly say Nigeria did not cross my mind. Angola now exports more oil to the US than Kuwait and has done so for some time. I have not seen any evidence of it in Angola though. So I doubt Nigeria is alone in this.

    Actually, I seem to remember from my time at KOC that all Kuwait’s production heads east. This is consistent with a lecture on the shipment of crude I attended back in March, which showed that almost all the oil from the Persian Gulf goes to Asia, with the US being served by West Africa, Venezuela, and Canada.

    But yeah, production in Angola has grown enormously. I am not on the ground there so cannot see for myself how it is affecting folk, but my colleages tell me it is being handled better than in Nigeria. For starters, the Angolans are recovering from a 30 year civil war so pretty much any kind of improvement is going to be felt by everybody, at least initially. I’d be surprised if any section of society was going backwards, at any rate. Contrast this with Nigeria which hasn’t had a civil war since the 1970s and has no excuse for the state its in, where most people are in agreement that things were better for the ordinary person 10 or 20 years ago. There is a middle class which is growing slowly, but the population is ballooning and only a very few percent are even middle class, let alone rich (for simplicity I am equating class with wealth here, which isn’t actually the case: Nigeria is utterly classless using its normal definition).

    When people in the DRC looks down on you ….. I bet Thailand is looking better and better all the time?

    Heh! For sure, Thailand looked an awful lot cleaner once I’d returned from my first stint in Lagos. It’s not the place per se which people hate, its’…the people. Nigerians are despised across Africa, and its for that reason they feel sorry for us. Better a mudhut in DRC than a house in Lagos for some, it seems.

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